March of the Catfish

My friend, LA at

https://wakinguponthewrongsideof50.wordpress.com

recently wrote about catfishing attempts on her Instagram page. For those not in the know, Urban Dictionary definescatfish” as “someone who pretends to be someone they’re not, using Facebook or other social media to create false identities, particularly to pursue deceptive online romances.”

I don’t have an Instagram account, yet, but I’ve collected a variety of would be catfishers on Twitter. They’re kind of amusing in their attempts to woo me, a 63-year-old grandmother. Just for grins, I took a couple of screen shots of some of my potential “beaux.”

There’s a bit of overlap in the photos, but I think you can see that these seemingly earnest men are just what any woman dreams of. The pictures posted are likely borrowed from some poor unsuspecting schmuck’s social media profile. I do like how “Scott Tyler” praised the simplicity of my own profile. Surely I was looking for someone just like him to rescue me from my dreary life.

It’s easy for us to laugh, but if you’ve ever watched Dr. Phil you’ll know that a good many people, men and women, fall for online catfishing scams. It’s not unusual for a victim to spend thousands of dollars trying to help out or connect with someone they only know from a social media platform.

So, before you fall for some hunky looking guy or gorgeous gal who’s coming on strong on social media, read this piece about spotting someone who isn’t on the up and up:

https://whatismyipaddress.com/catfish

Peace, people!

Keeping the Peace

Heated arguments arise with names called and choices questioned. I hold my own 

Most of the time, keeping a cool head even when others seek to goad me into ugly 

Banter about this candidate or that policy. Occasionally though my cool demeanor

Slips away leaving righteous anger shooting from my fingertips. Sarcasm

Dripping from my well-schooled tongue. Oh, ye of closed minded beliefs, heed me!

I am Fury. A woman unsubmissive, unintimidated, unrepentant. Ultimately

Remorseful and exhausted. So much for keeping to the high road.

Peace, people.

  

A couple of strong-willed women just hanging out.
 

Social Media Storm

In the wake of the horrible terrorist attack in France social media sites are in an uproar. Anger, fear, and hatred fuel the conversations. 

In the midst of a heated debate with someone I don’t even know we both paused. I said something about political arguments not ever changing minds, and I offered a virtual handshake and a hug.

He agreed and posted this:

  Maybe we all need to take a deep breath, and stop second guessing every action from the right and the left. Stop demonizing our leaders and those who seek to lead. 

None of us can grasp the whole picture, yet each of us has an opinion based on the tiny piece we do see. That’s never very productive or helpful.

So I’m stepping up, opening my arms wide, and embracing everyone. Now, don’t crowd in too close, there’s room for everyone. There, there. You, the good looking one, over here….

Seriously, peace, people.

  

Friends I Don’t Know

Thanks to social media and WordPress I’ve become friends with a large number of people who* I’ve never actually met face to face.  (*Should that be whom? I’m sure one of my friends will let me know.)

I enjoy these friendships formed over creative writing, political leanings, and witty comments. In many ways they are as important to me as friendships formed in old-fashioned ways, such as over a shared love of hopscotch in elementary school or while playing hooky together in junior high (not that I ever did that, of course). 

Social media friends tend to be extremely forthright and plain-spoken. If one thinks you’re full of cow manure or a post is weak they’re likely to tell you, knowing they’ll never have to look you in the eye. If a fellow blogger doesn’t “like” or comment on a post their silence might indicate that they didn’t care for the piece or that they didn’t have time to actually read it. The Pollyanna in me always believes it to be the latter.

A friend I don’t know with whom I play Words With Friends (Roy S.) went missing from the game for more than a week, and I began to worry about him. Because the game is our only link, I had no way to inquire after him. Finally this week he played a word and in chat said he’d been unwell for the past few days. Whew! Of course I’d imagined poor Roy S. dangling from a cliff by one hand while trying frantically to type “a-p-r-a-x-i-a” with the other.

Similarly, if I don’t hear or read something from a blogger I follow I start feeling anxious. My imagination goes on overdrive and trust me, in my mind some of you have met spectacular ends. I’m so very relieved when I see a post from your site, and your make-believe death gets saved in my future fiction file.

This leads to the following question: Shouldn’t there be a way of making sure the friends we don’t know are ok? Maybe I’ll invent an app that generates one final note on social media upon one’s death. Something like:

Hey there. Leslie’s dead. She wanted you to know that your support meant so much. Here’s one last poem composed in advance of her demise to be shared on this occasion.

Gone

By Leslie aka Nana 

Life was so wonderful

But my time has come,

No one thought I was sick

Guess they feel pretty dumb.

But I lived a full life

Full of all that is good,

Now sit and weep for me

Like any real friend would.

Leslie knew this wasn’t much of a poem, but, hey she was really sick.

Peace, and good health, people!

  

Pariah

How is a pariah like a piranha?
Neither are welcome dinner guests.

  
  
Give social media credit
where credit is due.
Pariah status becomes easy
for users to accrue.
Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook,
and Instagram, too
Provide pulpits for all
who have hatred to spew.

TMI?

I have a gift when it comes to giving out too much information, a.k.a. TMI. My brain is hollering, “For the love of God, STOP!” while my mouth keeps spouting all the details of my life that are better left untouched, unknown, and uncovered.

 

In the good and/or bad old days if one gave out TMI it often wasn’t a big deal, unless one happened to be in front of a television audience. The TMI didn’t travel far or for any distance. However, today’s social media makes sharing TMI much too easy and in some ways dangerous. 

Take yesterday, for example. My 10-year-old grandaughter started a pet care service. She created a professional looking sign, made copies, and posted them all around her small town Illinois neighborhood. I immediately copied the photo and posted it on my Facebook page. Thank goodness my youngest brother pointed out that it might not be wise to post the phone number of a preteen girl on Facebook, and I promptly deleted it.

Usually, though, my tendency is to provide entirely too much information about myself. Case in point, I typed this post on my iPhone. In the john. Would someone fetch me some t.p.? TMI?

  
Peace, people!